Qantas Young Socceroos finish 3rd

The Qantas Young Socceroos (Australian U20 Men’s team) have finished the Terborg Toernooi in 3rd place, after a nail-biting penalty shoot-out victory over Liverpool in the 3rd/4th play-off match.

The Qantas Young Socceroos (Australian U20 Men-s team) have finished the Terborg Toernooi in 3rd place, after a nail-biting penalty shoot-out victory over Liverpool in the 3rd/4th play-off match.

Earlier in the day, the Australian team lost its semi final to eventual winners Ajax Amsterdam 2-0, but after a 0-0 draw with Liverpool, Australia prevailed in the shoot-out 4-2.

Australia-s Bolton Wanderers midfielder Aaron Mooy was named Player of the Tournament and has surely rocketed up the pecking order in Jan Versleijen-s plans for the 2009 FIFA World Youth Cup, being held in Egypt later this year.

The semi final against Ajax was decided in the last five minutes after a very even tussle in the opening 35 minutes. Ajax grabbed the initiative in the 35th minute, when they scored with a low free kick that sneaked inside Andrew Redmayne-s left hand post.

The second goal came straight from the kick-off with Australia pushing players forward and the ball was turned over and the Ajax player hit a 30-metre shot that gave Redmayne no chance.

With Liverpool beaten 7-6 on penalties in their semi final by Atletico Mineiro, it set up a mouth-watering play-off clash with Australia. Versleijen basically chose a completely new team for this match and to show how competitive the competition is for places with the Young Socceroos squad, there was little to separate the two teams with the score finishing 0-0 at the end of full time.

In the shoot-out, both team made their first kicks, but Luke Brattan-s saved penalty was matched by Liverpool hitting the post with their kick. After Robert Stambolziev made his kick, Adelaide United keeper Mark Birighitti stepped up to the plate and saved the next Liverpool kick, giving his side the advantage, which neither Matthew Jurman or Nathan Elasi squandered with their penalty attempts.

In the final, Ajax defeated Mineiro 2-0.

Versleijen was delighted with Australia-s performance.

“It was a great result to finish 3rd in the tournament; we built up from the start of the matches and improved as we continued.

“I had the opportunity to play a lot of players and everybody got the opportunity to play which was important. To have Aaron Mooy named as player of the tournament is a great achievement for him in what is a very famous and high standard tournament.

“We are now half way through the tour and have a match v Egypt and another tournament to prepare for,” he concluded.

Australia will stay in Terborg where they will play this year-s World Cup host Egypt in a friendly match on Tuesday. Egypt finished 6th in the Terborg Toernooi. They will then play in another modified tournament in Holland, where they will once again face Ajax and the likes of Celtic, PSV Eindhoven.

Match Details

Semi Final

Australia 0 Ajax Amsterdam 2

Australian line-up: Andrew Redmayne, Daniel Mullen, Luke DeVere, Ryan McGowan, Matthew Jurman, James Holland, Mitch Nichols, Thomas Oar, Oliver Bozanic, Aaron Mooy (Rocco Visconte 37-), Kofi Danning

Caution: Daniel Mullen (10-)

3rd/4th place play-off

Australia 0 (4 pens) Liverpool 0 (2 pens)

Australian line-up: Mark Birighitti, Matthew Jurman, Sam Munro, Tahj Minniecon, Nathan Elasi, Luke Brattan, Isaka Cernak, Rhyan Grant, Brent McGrath, Robert Stambolziev, Peter Cvetanovski